The impact of Filipina domestic workers on Hong Kong primary school children’s L2 English spoken CAF and reading accuracy and fluency

Francois Wolfaardt, Alex Leung*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study investigates the impact of Filipina domestic workers (FilDWs), a marginalised group in Hong Kong (HK), on HK children’s language development. It focuses on FilDWs’ influence on the second language (L2) English of bilingual HK primary school children attending an English Medium of Instruction school. The elements investigated are: L2 English spoken complexity, accuracy and fluency (CAF), and reading accuracy and fluency. Participants comprise thirty-four children (17 boys and 17 girls, mean age 8;11) from homes with FilDWs and 30 (15 boys and 15 girls, mean age 8;11) from homes with no FilDW. Participants completed an English reading and speaking task, and an English working memory capacity (WMC) test. Participants from households with FilDWs scored significantly higher on all aspects of both English language measures, while no significant differences for WMC test was observed. These suggest that FilDWs exert a positive impact on children’s L2 English proficiency, placing them in a different position to the low status they are usually ascribed. These findings have implications for decolonising and decentringlanguage learning and teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberamad072
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Linguistics
Early online date31 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2023

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